BrewDog eyes Asia brewery as annual sales near £72m

Craft beer producer BrewDog is looking at opening a brewery in Asia to capitalise on surging demand in the Far East.

BrewDog co-founders James Watt, left, and Martin Dickie. Picture: Contributed

The Ellon-based brewer, co-founded by “captain” James Watt and “beer pirate” Martin Dickie, revealed its overseas expansion plans as latest accounts showed a 60.6 per cent surge in revenues to £71.9 million for 2016.

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Pre-tax profits at the firm, which said its sales almost doubled in the UK last year, grew 8.2 per cent to £3.8m.

BrewDog said: “China is on course to be one of our biggest export markets in 2017 and we also have significant distribution in Japan and South Korea.

“Given the proximity from our Ellon brewery, we feel we can only really take advantage of the Asian opportunity by having a brewery in Asia and we are now actively looking at locations and opportunities in the regions.”

Plans for a move into the Far East come as BrewDog prepares to start production next month at its new facility in Columbus, Ohio, where the firm has invested $30m (£24m) in a “state-of-the-art” brewery.

“We have our distribution networks all set up, and have started to build a great team in Columbus too,” the company said.

“We see significant growth potential from our US brewery over the next five years.”

BrewDog, which has 47 bars around the world, employs about 650 people. Its annual meeting for shareholders will be held at the Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre on 8 April.